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From Russia, a coup for Pennsylvania Ballet

(Ellen Dunkel, Philadelphia Inquirer) Alexei Ratmansky’s Jeu de Cartes was built on the very specific talents of Bolshoi Ballet royalty, international luminaries such as Natalia Osipova, Svetlana Lunkina, and Maria Alexandrova.

The fleet, energetic ballet, set to Stravinsky, was choreographed in 2005 to honor the 80th birthday of Maya Plisetskaya, one of the most prima of ballerinas ever to grace a stage. It won a major Russian award for best choreography. And only the Bolshoi has ever danced it.

Until this week.

Pennsylvania Ballet presents Jeu de Cartes on its “Russian Suite” program Thursday at the Academy of Music, along with George Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.